While the date of reopening of the borders remains unclear, travel by proxy is without a doubt the best balm to all those who have ants in the passport. The collection of journalist and globe-trotter Gary Lawrence falls at point. The writings of her travels to the four corners of the planet constitute a cure of a horse to the blues of the containment.
The irony is that Fragments also appear at a time when its author, whose job is to go on a mission in distant lands for the media account as Duty or The news, feels like a lion in a cage after three months of confinement, COVID-19 requires. “It begins to be hard. It is still difficult to make plans. In the absence of travel, one can always dream, ” says the one who, at this moment, should be somewhere in the steppes of Uzbekistan, in central Asia.
One thing is for certain, the man, who has hundreds of countries and territories, to his credit, knows how to dream. In this round-the-world 50 written, Gary Lawrence transports us to the jungles of Madagascar to the nights spellbinding of Havana, passing by the slums of Dakar and the waters of the Ganges with a real mastery of the narrative.
Under the pen of the storyteller, the slightest anecdote of the trip becomes a one-way trip to adventure. We live with him the anguish caused by a boat accident in the heart of the Amazon or even the trac to the idea of eating a dish of crocodile to termites in Cameroon. “The narrative of travel is the form of writing that is closer to the literature and this is probably why I like so much this business. I don’t want to limit myself to a mere description of tourist brochure. I need to tell a story by giving marks social and the historical in order to explain why people live in a way different from ours. “
That being said, his writings are to avoid the trap of complacency : it unmasks the need the tourist trap, called the injustice and denounces the human stupidity in all its forms, such as when a tourist is cut under his eye, and with great blows of heels a piece of the mosaic of the ancient city of Carthage in Tunisia as a souvenir. “As a journalist, it is necessary to give the correct time otherwise the reader will feel cheated and abused. If a situation deserves to be denounced, it should be done. “
Witness of his time
More than a simple invitation to escapism, the stories of Gary Lawrence testify, moreover, the profound changes which are transforming the tourism industry, starting its democratization unrestrained. In his early years as a journalist in 1994, the global population was approximately 500 million tourists. They were more than 1.4 billion before the start of the pandemic, resulting in some cities such as Venice, Barcelona or Dubrovnik the perverse effects that we can imagine.
“We have witnessed the advent of the surtourisme in destinations the beleaguered coach and cruise ships, and emptied of its inhabitants. Due to the pandemic, there will be smaller groups who want to visit places less crowded. Maybe will they take a liking to travel differently “,-he hoped.
Surtourisme or not, Gary Lawrence assures not to have lost anything in his ability to marvel at when it flies towards a new destination. “For me, to make a beautiful trip can be summed up in a few things : this is without prejudice to the meeting of passionate people who are ready to make you discover their country. ”